CLIMATE CHANGE: Your Page candidates tell us what they will and won’t do

We asked the ten Page candidates:

What will a government you support or are a member of do about climate change? What is a realistic timeframe and do you have practical ideas on how this will happen?

Kashmir Miller, Greens

Greens will ban the construction of new coal, oil and gas infrastructure. We will phase out the mining, burning and export of thermal coal by 2030 and help mining workers and communities by creating sustainable industries and training. If we do not have a plan for mining workers, they will be left behind as the world moves away from coal and gas.

To do this, we must ban political donations from fossil fuel companies and stop giving them multibillion-dollar tax subsidies. The Greens are in balance of power in the ACT, which now runs on 100% renewable energy, and we can make this a reality Australia wide and get to net-zero emissions by 2035.

Serge Killingbeck, TNL

TNL has the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2030. We also have a comprehensive policy and plan to get there.

It is a big ask but achievable. Given the outcomes for regional and coastal areas and agriculture even in a 1.5°C to 2°C scenario, according to the IPCC, to not work towards that goal is negligent.

Hanabeth Luke, Independent

We can create a more certain future for our farms, families and industries with a planned transition to a healthy, carbon-neutral economy. Zali Steggal’s Climate Bill presents a sensible transition plan. These are:

Build climate-resilient infrastructure from roads, bridges and communication systems to public buildings and energy supply.

Support farmers through stewardship schemes to build resilience into their lands, water supply and income.

Commit to 75% renewable energy by 2030, phase out coal and gas.

Fund emergency services so they have the capacity to respond during fires, floods and droughts.

Inspire local action to tackle the climate challenge to be better prepared when disaster strikes and recover more quickly.

Legislate for a framework to get to Net Zero by passing the Climate Change Bills.

Incentivise electric vehicles through tax breaks, more charging stations and tighter emissions standards.

Incentivise the production of green hydrogen, green aluminum and green steel.

Patrick Deegan, Labor

Australia can and must take a leadership role in reducing the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.  Labor’s Powering Australia plan will reduce Australia’s emissions by 43% by 2030 – which will become Australia’s target under the Paris Agreement, keeping us on track for net zero by 2050.

We will transition the Australian economy towards a carbon-free future. Upgrading the national grid and supporting workers and communities in that transition through consultation, retraining and preparing for new jobs in clean energy and manufacturing again in regional Australia.

Kevin Hogan, The Nationals

We have a strong record of meeting and beating our emissions targets. Including our 2020 Kyoto target, and 2030 Paris target. We are also on track to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

This is getting done through strong investment in new technologies. Australia has the world’s highest uptake of rooftop solar, with one in four homes with rooftop solar panels. Renewables now make up almost one third of our energy mix.

Ian Williamson, United Australia Party

The best way to solve the issue of carbon in our atmosphere is to store it in timber. Plantation timber and native harvesting needs significant investment to ensure the sustainability into the future. Timber is the only resource we are using that can regrow. Plastic, steel, and concrete are all produced in mines and once used can’t be regrown. The National Parks need to be managed for weeds so the wildlife can thrive and the forests need to be managed to produce sustainable timber to reduce carbon in out atmosphere and reduce material being mined.

Heather Smith, Australian Federation Party

We are committed to reducing Australian carbon emissions and increasing our carbon sequestration rate.  We will investigate all options for energy and continue to promote and enable innovation in all areas of the economy to reduce our environmental footprint generally. We will oppose legislating a Net Zero target, because we believe the legislative pathway has a high risk of being a blunt instrument that forces compliance by any measure and increasing  rates of poverty, especially for small business and low fixed  income families who have minimal ability to absorb additional expenses or adapt to avoid them.  We have already seen the current government believes that a one-off payment of $250 is enough to alleviate cost of living pressure.  Past performance tells us that support for those on low fixed incomes will be similarly inadequate.  The Australian Federation Party has a number of alternate solutions to investigate and mode..

Tom Searles, Liberal Democrats

There is nothing any Australian government can do about climate change. We produce such a small amount of CO2 that no amount of reduction can change the climate and every scientist on earth agrees with this statement. We can reduce the reliability of baseload power and increase our national debt, but we cannot change the climate by reducing CO2, and any claim otherwise is unscientific and disingenuous. The only way to change the climate as identified in IPCC 6th report is to use climate mitigation techniques. These include dumping heavy metals in the ocean to reduce acidification and upper atmospheric cloud seeding to cool the planet. I find the proposals of the IPCC and our climate parties to mitigate climate change are analogous to cane toads mitigating cane beetles

We did not receive a response from Donna Pike or Brett Duroux.

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